REGINA — For 46 years Rev. F. William (Bill) Mahoney served first the Diocese of Gravelbourg then the Archdiocese of Regina not only as a diocesan priest but in various other ministries as well. Mahoney died at the age of 78 after failing health forced an early retirement in 2009.
Mahoney was born in Swift Current, obtained his early education in Success, Sask., high school at Campion College in Regina and St. Peter’s College, Muenster. He studied philosophy at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Edmonton, then transferred to Le Grande Seminaire de St. Boniface, where he studied theology. He completed his studies at Le Grande Seminaire d’Ottawa and was ordained priest May 19, 1963, in his home parish of Sacred Heart, Swift Current.
He served first in the Marriage Tribunal of the former Diocese of Gravelbourg as well as in several rural parishes. He studied psychology at the Illinois University of Professional Psychology in 1980 and became a psychotherapist at Bosco Homes, treating troubled youth until the organization closed its doors.
Mahoney developed the archdiocese’s first set of guidelines for dealing with sexual abuse. He was also the co-ordinator of the archdiocesan Lay Ministry Program and for many years provided personnel support for the Regina archdiocese. He spent time working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and was also involved in the organization of Development and Peace in Saskatchewan. The last 13 years of his ministry were spent as parish priest at Regina’s Little Flower Parish, where he worked with Sister Melvina Hruska, RNDM, who became his caregiver in the latter years of his life.
“He was very compassionate and merciful,” said Hruska in an interview with the PM. “He had a heart as big as he was.” Hruska said Mahoney had a tremendous capacity for knowledge.
Hruska was with him and three members of his family when he died Jan. 19. “It was a gift for me to be there, as he greeted death joyfully. He gave to his dying the same energy and zest he gave to every other ministry he had in his lifetime, and he never lost his sense of humour.”
A celebration of Mahoney’s life was held Jan. 29 in Little Flower Parish Hall with a funeral mass following in the church.